Last year, we went to pick apples. It was the first time we had taken Charlie out after she came home from the NICU. Although the trip was short and simple, it had a lasting impact on our lives.
Charlie had been home approximately a month when we first went apple picking. Around this time, we decided that our lives in Northern Virginia were no longer going to work. Additionally, the isolation and precautions required of post NICU life were wearing on me. To get away from it all, we decided to pick apples about an hour away.
After we arrived at the orchard, my husband was so nervous to have our baby out of the house that he worried about everything. I remember that the gentleman who took our family picture (first ever!) in the orchard asked us how many hours old our baby was.
Regardless, we had a fabulous time. We picked apples, had ice cream, and ate caramel apples under a sunny sky. I felt like we had broken out of prison.
On the drive back, we started discussing the possibility of moving away from the DC metro area. Additionally, we examined ways in which we could be better prepared while traveling with a baby.
The short trip had provided me with the confidence I needed to journey out of the house with Charlie in tow (to some where other than a medical appointment). At Charlie’s following appointment with the pediatrician, I asked about the recommendations and requirements to keep Charlie healthy while traveling out of the house. Our trips escalated from then on. We started traveling further out and for increasing amounts of time.
A few months later, we moved away from the DC metro area.
Today, we went back to the same orchard to pick apples (we live fifteen minutes in the other direction from it). This time, we were pros.